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MMD > Archives > February 1997 > 1997.02.04 > 11Prev  Next

By Allan Merralls

I was in the rubber business for several years, and our lab had well over ten thousand different compounds of natural and synthetic rubber, each compound consisting of around ten to twenty ingredients. If you walked through the plant you would see tubing, sheeting, balls and every imaginable shape of black rubber parts.

They all looked like they were made of the same smelly stuff. They weren't. Our player piano tubing was a combination of synthetic rubber (for ozone resistance) and natural rubber (to resist compression set -- it stays springy enough to keep grabbing the nipple).

It is a combination of a ton of practice and a huge memory, lots of testing (high temperature to mimic long time) and science. Our rubber chemist started before roads were paved! A good chemist knows what to put in a compound to make it resistant to different environments.

Allan Merralls

(Message sent Tue 4 Feb 1997, 17:50:08 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Rubber

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